The International Relations Directorate shall:

1. participate in the development and monitor the implementation of basic and strategic documents and operation plans, related to the fulfillment of the obligations, arising from Bulgaria's membership in the EU, in their part within the Agency's competence ;

2. coordinate the participation of the Republic of Bulgaria in programmes of the EC in their part within the Agency's competence;

3. take part in the proceedings of Working Group No. 24 "Customs Union" and in the proceedings of other working groups to the European Matters Council to the Council of Ministers;

4. coordinate the preparation of draft positions on issues of the Agency's competence, which are discussed by the Council of the European Union and its ancillary bodies in the comitology process;

5. coordinate the activity of the officials under art. 8, par. 3 and the participation of Agency's officials in the work of the bodies of the European Commission and the Council of the European Union and other international organizations;

6. participate in the process of the Republic of Bulgaria's joining international customs conventions and agreements and assist the other directorates in fulfilling the commitments, resulting for the customs administration from those international agreements;

7. implement and coordinate the Agency's cooperation with other customs administrations; take part in the process of preparation, coordination and concluding of bilateral customs agreements;

8. prepare the position of the Republic of Bulgaria and participate in the work of the World customs organization and coordinate the participation of the other directorates

9. participate and coordinate the representation of the Agency in regional initiatives and projects;

10. prepare the materials and participate in the work with international organizations and institutions as far as they perform activity related to the Agency's competences;

11. participate in the programming process under the programmes of the European Union and of other international organizations and institutions and organize the drafting of documentation for implementation of the projects under those programs in their part falling within the Agency's competence;

12. coordinate and control the implementation of the current projects under the programmes of the European Union and of other international organizations and institutions in the Agency's competence;

13. prepare the reporting documents for the projects under the programmes of the European Union and of other international organizations and institutions in the Agency's competence;

14. organize and coordinate the Agency's participation in international activities;

 

 

The customs legislation is directly applicable in the customs territory of the European Union, therefore its uniform application in each customs office in every Member State is of key importance. In its capacity of a participant in the decision-making process in the area of the European customs legislation the National Customs Agency leads one of the working groups within the Council on European Affairs to the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria. This working group discusses and elaborates Bulgaria's positions for the participation in the working bodies of the Council of the EU and the European Commission.

Representatives of the National Customs Agency take active part in the meetings of the Customs Union and Customs Cooperation Working Parties to the Council of the EU, in the regular meetings of the Customs Policy Group and the sections of the Customs Code Committee, as well as other committees and working groups to the European Commission.

The National Customs Agency management takes part in high-level seminars organised by the EU presidencies and focusing on specific topics. Customs controls and risk management, the role of customs for the protection of citizens, society and legitimate trade, as well as the methods of closer cooperation and better coordination at various levels, including with business are among the most discussed issues. Being an external EU border we take active part in the discussions and the activities aimed at harmonisation of the methods of control in view of guaranteeing uniform treatment of operators and harmonised and effective work of the customs authorities.

The National Customs Agency continues to participate in the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) initiative at both expert and Directors General levels. The meetings support the progress in the area of trade facilitation and supply chain security, intellectual property rights and the protection of the society and the environment.

In the bi-lateral cooperation domain the National Customs Agency has concluded agreements with 21 states, which contain provisions on the proper application of the customs legislation and the cooperation between the parties in preventing, detecting, investigating and intercepting customs violations. Being an EU external border one of the key priorities is the cooperation with neighbouring Turkey. Joint working groups for tax cooperation and mutual assistance have been established together with the Greek Customs Administration. Contact Centres for Police and Customs Cooperation with Greece, Romania, Serbia and Macedonia are also in operation.

The involvement of the Bulgarian Customs Administration in the work of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) is enhanced. In addition to the traditional interaction, the National Customs Agency starts taking part in newly established WCO working bodies - the Capacity Building Committee, the Ad Hoc Group on Globally Networked Customs and the Working Group on the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation.

The National Customs Agency management holds regular meetings with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.  Regional cooperation is also of high importance. The National Customs Agency is actively involved in the work of the Southeast European law Enforcement Center.